Such quick change. A few weeks ago, the wild daffodils earthed the sunshine and made the world a cheerier place.
Just a few weeks later the trees are breaking their buds and soft new leaves clothe the landscape. These back-lit copper beech leaves blend vibrant colour with downy gentleness.
Soon those leaves will turn darker in colour: but will continue turning sunlight into nutrients, and absorbing carbon dioxide so oxygen can become the breath of life.
Easter celebrations have reminded us of Jesus, who is the Light of the World. Shining the Light of Glory out of the mouth of an Empty Tomb, the grace of Almighty God announced that Darkness and Death were destroyed.
Eternal Light is making Life grow again. Every time we witness the awesome ordinariness of a Spring day, and the procession of colour and song provided by nature, a spark of True Light is planted in our innermost being. We may not recognise it, we may even try to hide it- but that Light is a gift, a message of Love sent by the Faithful One who will use any opportunity to call us back into divine Presence and awareness.
I intend to enjoy as many moments of Spring Light as I can: and hope that my heart will interpret the Message wisely, so that my whole being is infused with that Heavenly Light that has always been the Light of all humankind. Let us look, so that we see: and in seeing, we may pray, praise, and serve the Kingdom of God here on Earth- until the final Promise is unveiled, and the heavens and Earth will be renewed as the Lord dwells among us.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…” (John 1 v1-5)
Holy Week is generally full of the hustle of frenetic activity. Jesus entered Jerusalem to be acclaimed as a King. He stirred up a load of trouble when He cracked the whip to drive out the cheats and exploiters from the Temple: “This should be a House of Prayer!”
The end of the week is full of betrayal, heart-breaking prayer, injustice and a Cross.
Squeezed in the gap is the one day where it seems silence reigned. The Gospels don’t say anything much about this one day. As far as we know, it was a day of quiet for Jesus.
Silence and growth go together. The glorious tulips bloom without fanfare. New leaves break out of tight buds. In silence.
A world full of noise and words need to draw breath.
Silence is an invitation to listen for the Presence of God. In the rush of Holy Week, Jesus has moments of quiet reflection and prayer- he prepares himself for what must happen.
Others use the silence to conspire and prepare trouble. Who knows what was going through the mind of Judas? Pilate? Caiaphas? Herod?
“We need silence to be able to touch souls” said Mother Teresa as she served the poorest and most abandoned people on the streets. Actions speak louder than words when we share love with the helpless.
Will this silence touch MY soul? Will silence prepare me to love with compassion? When all the drama ends in the silence of an empty tomb, will I be more or less in the Presence and Awareness of God? When my lips convey the message of hope- He is Risen! – will my soul- and yours– have been in that quiet still place where silence has proclaimed Truth?
For we speak of Christ crucified, and shown to be Saviour and Lord, through His death and resurrection. For the sake of our souls, let us grasp silence and learn to grow. Amen.
Really, what could go wrong? Off to Jerusalem in the morning, going up to the city for the festival. Jesus is going to ride a donkey. I expect some will mock the “Teacher from Galilee” but that’s nothing new.
Jesus insisted, he said it was important to go this way.
If you ask me, we should have gone home instead. There’s trouble brewing, you mark my words. Perhaps if we can keep Jesus out of the crowds all the fuss will die down.
Somehow I don’t think that’s the plan. Jesus had a glint in his eye, and he’ll probably preach, so that will upset Caiaphas and the Temple crew. I don’t think Jesus minds stirring people up a bit. He tells some pretty pointed stories – and some folks even started saying “Messiah?” when they heard him.
It will be alright as long as the “Blessed is the King” song doesn’t catch on. That would really be the end.
I wish I hadn’t said that thing about going and dying with him…
Extract from the diary of Thomas, a friend of Jesus and a man of great faith… some of the time…
(Words & photo Copyright 2019 by Richard Starling)
Listening to the news media is quite troubling. So many hot topics are controversial. Opinions get polarised and then debate is degraded into hostility. Where are the level heads and honest counsellors?
I listened to a CD track, “Sweet Emily” by Randy Stonehill, and one line caught my attention. It’s a song about the loss of a sister, and the sure hope of faith. “This life is but a moment in the morning of my day.”
God of Peace, you have made a world with purpose.
Our lives are precious, and each person matters.
Thank you for assurance
that circumstances are not permanent-
You are reconciling the world to Yourself through Christ.
With that hope in our souls, we remember
today is not the last word in politics.
Our experience now is but a small part
of the glory that awaits in eternal day.
Help us pray with wisdom and compassion
for all who hold authority and influence,
that they may be guided in Your ways.
Lord, we do not have all knowledge or insight.
So we ask that Your vision of justice and mercy
will reign sovereign over the affairs of Mankind.
Today is but a moment- may the True Day,
the Eternal Good, be the perspective through which we view the whole of history, the present moment,
and the future that is yet to be.
May this moment be a gateway to the Perfect morning
when Christ is crowned as King of Kings, Lord of Lords,
and Master of human destiny. Lord have mercy on us.
Photograph taken at dawn approaching the coast of Italy, near Florence. Copyright Richard Starling, 2018